This article illustrates and reflects upon the nature of inquiry appropriate to the question of place branding, in particular, world city branding. Disciplinary research traditions including cultural studies, film studies, marketing, and psychology offer conceptual categories and valuable modes of access to this area, and our concern here is to examine whether these compete or converge in forming understanding. Noting both the benefits and challenges of working across quite different paradigms of thought, vocabulary, and expected outcome, we discuss the possibilities of mutual shaping or influence in interdisciplinary inquiry. Acknowledging issues in establishing a working and meaningful discursive field across disciplinary boundaries, interests, and methodological habits, we illustrate, using a range of qualitative, projective, and quantitative methods, the collection, evaluation, and analysis of primary and secondary data in a current project. This looks at the major Pacific Rim cities of Sydney, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and particular issues of their brand identity. While all three cities compete on the world stage for events, tourists, and investment, they also are at the center of distinct film traditions, and have been rendered variously in popular imagination.